Kenta Maeda

Kenta Maeda

36-Year-Old PitcherSP
Detroit Tigers
2024 Fantasy Outlook
After a slow start in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, Maeda returned to his prior form and looks set to be a key part of Detroit's rotation after signing a two-year, $24 million contract. Maeda missed the 2022 season after Tommy John surgery and struggled initially in his return with a 9.00 ERA in four April starts. He then missed six weeks with a right triceps strain. Everything clicked when he returned as he had a 3.36 ERA with a 10.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 over his next 21 starts. Maeda has limited velocity (90.9 average mph fastball) but keeps hitters off balance with an array of offspeed pitches (splitter, slider, singer, curveball) that were in the 94th percentile combined in Offspeed Run Value, according to Baseball Savant. He can be prone to the long ball (1.47 HR/9) so a move to spacious Comerica Park is a good landing spot. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
Rest of Season From Preseason
#247
ADP
$Signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Tigers in November of 2023.
Delivers scoreless appearance
PDetroit Tigers
July 15, 2024
Maeda came out of the bullpen and threw 3.2 shutout frames during Detroit's walk-off win over the Dodgers. He allowed one hit and struck out five batters.
ANALYSIS
For the first time this season, Maeda worked a bulk-relief role and the results looked great. He threw 34 of 55 pitches for strikes and generated 11 whiffs. He was crushed for 15 runs in just 6.1 innings over his previous two outings. Maeda will enter the second half without a clear role in Detroit. He's registered an unsightly 6.88 ERA and 55:23 K:BB through 69.1 frames.
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Pitching Stats
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2024
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2024 MLB Game Log
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2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
73
Last 10 Games
70
Last 5 Games
74
How many pitches does Kenta Maeda generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Kenta Maeda generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2022
 
 
-1%
BAA vs RHP
2024
Even Split
2023
 
 
-2%
BAA vs RHP
2022
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2022vs Left .264 360 83 31 85 17 1 12
Since 2022vs Right .261 371 89 20 91 22 1 20
2024vs Left .296 151 30 13 40 8 1 6
2024vs Right .296 152 25 10 42 9 0 9
2023vs Left .241 209 53 18 45 9 0 6
2023vs Right .237 219 64 10 49 13 1 11
2022vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2022vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2022
 
 
-4%
ERA at Home
2024
 
 
-56%
ERA at Home
2023
 
 
-48%
ERA on Road
2022
No Stats
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2022Home 5.17 1.29 85.1 5 5 0 8.2 2.2 1.7
Since 2022Away 5.40 1.32 88.1 3 8 0 9.6 3.1 1.6
2024Home 4.46 1.24 40.1 2 2 0 7.4 2.5 1.6
2024Away 10.24 1.90 29.0 0 3 0 6.8 3.7 2.5
2023Home 5.80 1.33 45.0 3 3 0 9.0 2.0 1.8
2023Away 3.03 1.04 59.1 3 5 0 10.9 2.7 1.2
2022Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2022Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Stat Review
How does Kenta Maeda compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 120 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.39
 
K/9
7.1
 
BB/9
3.0
 
HR/9
1.9
 
Fastball
90.5 mph
 
ERA
6.88
 
WHIP
1.51
 
BABIP
.323
 
GB/FB
1.03
 
Left On Base
59.5%
 
Exit Velocity
82.3 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
5.2%
 
Spin Rate
2125 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
21.9%
 
Swinging Strike
9.7%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
Maeda missed the 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2021. After dazzling during an 11-start sample in the abbreviated 2020 campaign (2.70 ERA and 0.70 WHIP), Maeda took a big step back (4.66 ERA) in 2021 before suffering the season-ending injury in August. Maeda was able to reach low-90s velocity in September, but did not pitch in any rehab games. He'll have a spot in the Twins rotation if healthy, but he could struggle early since pitchers undergoing Tommy John initially grapple with control. Maeda depends on his outstanding accuracy (4% walk rate in 2021) rather than velocity (below average 91.4 mph in 2022). The Twins are counting on a quick return to his prior top form where at his best in 2021 he limited hard contact (98th percentile hard-hit rate) while inducing strikeouts at a good rate (10.8 K/9).
Maeda will miss most of the 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September. After dazzling during an 11-start sample in the abbreviated 2020 campaign (2.70 ERA and 0.70 WHIP), Maeda took a big step back in 2021 before suffering the season-ending injury in August. Maeda never looked right from the start of the season as he had a 6.17 ERA in April and saw a drop in fastball velocity (90.5 MPH from 91.4 MPH in 2020) and strikeout rate (career-low 24.9%). Maeda's surgery included the insertion of an internal brace that could help him return as early as June, but a timetable likely won't be known until after Opening Day. A spot awaits him in the Twins rotation if he can return to previous form as he's signed through 2023.
Maeda was brilliant during his first season in Minnesota, going 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA and finishing runner up in the AL Cy Young award voting. He was used exclusively as a starter after shuffling from the bullpen and rotation with the Dodgers. Maeda gave the Twins a true rotation anchor, delivering with outstanding control (4% walk rate) that fueled an AL-leading 0.75 WHIP. He increased the use of his slider to become his primary pitch, which, while effective (.299 wOBA allowed), made his changeup even more devastating (.136 wOBA allowed). Despite below-average fastball velocity (91.4 mph), Maeda's hard-hit rate was in the 98th percentile and he produced a near career-high 10.8 K/9. Maeda looks to have found the right mix with the Minnesota coaching staff and home park. The only question is whether he can remain this effective while holding up over a full season.
For the second straight season, Maeda transitioned to the bullpen in September, excelling with two wins, three saves and three holds. He pitched well as a starter, despite what a bloated 4.11 ERA says. Still, this is two consecutive years Maeda's K% increased while his BB% decreased as a reliever. After being traded to Minnesota, Maeda should be expected to be a starter for most of the year, though the Twins could skip a start here or there. His 26.4 K% and 8.3 BB% as a starter continue to render Maeda above average in the role. Maeda's bread-and-butter pitch remains his splitter, which he used a little more than in the past while also increasing usage of his slider and change at the expense of his two-seamer (which he bagged completely) and 93-mph four-seamer.
Maeda began the season as starter, but finished it in the bullpen. He held opponents to a .233 average as a starter with a 28% strikeout rate, but as a reliever struck out 35% of the hitters he faced while opponents batted .265 against him. The 31 K-BB% out of the bullpen was elite, even if it was only 74 batters faced. Maeda's move to the 'pen was one related to a crowded house more than a degradation of skill, so don't assume his days as a starter are over. Maeda's skills play up in either role -- the lack of clarity around his role should not overly concern you if you are drafting early. The right-hander is a classic example of "draft skills, not role" in his current shape. Either way, you should realize a profit with Maeda as a late-round pick.
Maeda improved slightly upon his strong strikeout and walk rates from his rookie season, but he missed time due to injury and was relegated to the bullpen on a couple of occasions. The Dodgers were also conservative in his starts, limiting Maeda's exposure to opposing lineups -- Maeda threw more than five innings just seven times all year, which led to a 40-inning drop in regular-season workload. Maeda throws five different pitches and he mixes them reasonably well, but he induced fewer swings on pitches out of the strike zone overall (29.9 percent O-Swing rate), struggled on the road (5.62 ERA) and continued to run into trouble against lefties (.263/.322/.458). Perhaps the biggest thing working against Maeda in fantasy is the fact that the Dodgers have evolved past the "workhorse" mentality, instead using the 10-day DL to rotate guys and keep them fresh. The skills are solid, but Maeda's workload will likely be capped once again.
Signed through 2023 for a total of $25 million (plus incentives), Maeda is already looking like one of the great bargains in baseball after his first season stateside. As the calendar turned to July, Maeda sat with a 2.82 ERA, and although he did slip some late in the year, he finished with 16 wins, strong ratios and an average of more than a strikeout per inning. Elbow issues drove his price down last offseason, and while Maeda made 32 regular-season starts, he required additional rest for 19 of them. The Dodgers want Maeda to add mass this offseason with the hope that his body will hold up to a heavier workload (and a more regular schedule) in 2017. Thirty more innings or so, even if they come with some regression with the ratios, could thrust Maeda into elite company among fantasy starters. Best of all, his cost may remain suppressed as the memory of his late-season struggles and injury concerns linger.
Maeda, who was regarded as the top pitcher in Japan, signed an eight-year deal with the Dodgers in the offseason. Comparisons to his most immediate predecessors, Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka, are a bit unfair, as both were historically unprecedented. Maeda probably isn't MLB ace material, as his K/9 rate has never exceeded 8.1, but it has also never fallen below 7.3, and his BB/9 rate has steadily hovered around 1.9. Maeda's success has come from limiting hits, and more recently, keeping the ball in the park. Maeda's fastball sits 89-92 mph with some movement, and it reaches 94 mph on occasion, and he features two variations of a slider. Above all, Maeda has been remarkably durable to this point, throwing at least 175 innings in each of the past seven seasons, but irregularities were found in his elbow during his physical with the Dodgers, which helps explain all the incentives in his contract.
Maeda entered 2014 regarded as the top pitcher in Japan after the departure of Masahiro Tanaka to MLB. While his W-L record declined to 11-9 and his ERA increased to a five-year high, he still had a 2.60 ERA with a 161:41 K:BB ratio in 187 innings. Still, the buzz about him moving to MLB declined and his team decided not to let him leave via the posting in 2015, even though he's said he wants to pitch in the U.S. He could be posted for the 2016 season and he'll be eligible for international free agency in 2017. When Maeda eventually does show up in the majors, fans expecting another Tanaka or Yu Darvish will probably be disappointed. Listed at 6-foot, 179 pounds, Maeda is physically smaller than Japan's recent exports. His arsenal of an 88-94 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup is more respectable than it is eye-popping. On the plus side, Maeda has good control, isn't home-run prone and offers a strong track record of health. He'll certainly be near the top of a big-league rotation when he decides to move to the States.
Maeda is regarded as the second best pitcher in Japan after Masahiro Tanaka. He went 15-7 with a 2.10 ERA and 158:40 K:BB ratio in 175.2 innings last season. When signing his 2014 contract with the Hiroshima Carp, Maeda declared his intent to move to MLB for 2015. He's been a reliable innings eater throughout his NPB career; and features a fastball at 90-94, and breaking pitch that traverses the plane from cutter to slider. He should figure prominently in a 2015 MLB rotation as a result.
More Fantasy News
Likely to work in bulk relief
PDetroit Tigers
July 14, 2024
Maeda is expected to serve as a bulk reliever behind starter Beau Brieske in Sunday's game against the Dodgers, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
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Heading to bullpen
PDetroit Tigers
July 11, 2024
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said Thursday that Maeda won't make his next scheduled start Sunday versus the Dodgers and has been moved to the bullpen "for the foreseeable future," Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Yields six runs in no-decision
PDetroit Tigers
July 9, 2024
Maeda allowed six runs on seven hits, a walk and two strikeouts over 2.2 innings in a no-decision Tuesday against the Guardians.
ANALYSIS
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Suffers ugly loss Thursday
PDetroit Tigers
July 4, 2024
Maeda (2-5) allowed nine runs on nine hits across 3.2 innings to take the loss Thursday against the Twins. He walked three and struck out three.
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Yields two runs
PDetroit Tigers
June 28, 2024
Maeda allowed two runs on six hits and a walk over 5.1 innings in a no-decision Friday. He struck out four during the loss to the Angels.
ANALYSIS
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Busts out sinker
PDetroit Tigers
April 24, 2024
Maeda threw nine sinkers over 88 total pitches during Tuesday's start against the Rays, which is the first time he's utilized the pitch in 2024, per Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press.
ANALYSIS
The right-hander didn't use the pitch in his first four starts of the season, but he elected to shift his approach after he posted a 7.64 ERA and 1.58 WHIP over 17.2 innings. Maeda had good reason to move away from the sinker as batters hit .385 against it on 109 offerings in 2023, but it seemed to help Tuesday and he tossed five scoreless innings.
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